My 5 year old acts like a moody teenager what are some things other moms do to curb this behavior?

Amy - posted on 10/27/2011 ( 6 moms have responded )

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My son can be really good or he can become really moody if things aren't going exactly the way he wants. I usually give him a warning that he's reaching the limit and then take away something. If it continues I send him to his room till he's in a better mood. I'm wondering if other 5 year olds are like this and what are some things I can do to prevent it from starting in the first place?

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Jenni - posted on 10/28/2011

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Little known fact: at around 5 years, boys get a surge of testosterone. Similar to when they go through puberty.

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Amy, from your profile picture it looks like you have a new baby. Do you think his attitude could be related to that? My three year old started pitching screaming fits after her sister was born. I usually send her to her room to cry and when she's calmed down she can come join us again.

JuLeah - posted on 10/27/2011

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My child doesn't do well with screen time. If she watched TV or plays computer games first thing in the am, she is a crank -

If I do let her play or watch a movie, I couch that between running out of doors .... I am sure not all kids react this way to electronics, but mine sure seems to

Five can be hard too because he now has so many more big ideas and feelings, he can think further ahead into the future (like the school trip) and but he still can't tease out real cause to worry and the monster under the bed kind of worry - well, actually, I still struggle with that myself

At five, he doesn't have the words yet to connect with all his new big ideas and feelings .... so, like when he was two, he needs langauge

For example, my kid FREAKED out one morning a few weeks back - seemed to some out of the blue. Nothing was working for her, she was so upset .... She is nearly ten, so I have been doing this awhile ... I was able to mentally go back and ask myself, when did the freak out start?

Right after I mentioned, "Pick a nice shirt, remember it is picture day"

So, when she calmed a bit, I said, I don't think you are really upset about your jeans, or the cats water dish (or any of the other things on her list that morning)

I said, "tell me how you feel about picture day"

She started to cry .... she so didn't want her picture taken. Her other parent (sigh) had given her the message that her picture were all ugly, her hair was always messed up, she never smiled right ..... anyway, I said, "I think you are feeling big feeling about picture day and I think you just vomited them all on me"

As I said, she is neary ten and we have been doing this awhile ... she agreed, spoke about her feelings, we brainstormed options .... I ended up writing a note to for her teacher giving my permission for her to not have her picture taken if at that time she still didn't want to... then I tried to send messages to counter act the prior 'you're ugly' messages' and we talked about how much Grammie would love a picture.... anyway, she ended up having them taken, and they are sooooo cute .... we are getting there, it is getting easier ... course, she is nearly ten

JuLeah - posted on 10/27/2011

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Has he always been this way, or has something new happened?

Sleep, or lack of, can make kids moody .... he needs 11 hrs a night

Limit sugars, dyes, processed foods .... make sure he gets enough water and time to run

If your life has changed, if you are under a new kind of stress, then things that you didn't notice before can seem bigger .... so, maybe his moodiness has always been there, but is now more of an issue?

Give him language ... while it is okay to just be in a bad mood and feel down, often there is a reason and if he can learn to talk about feelings/thoughts and how they impact his life, it would be a life long benifical lesson

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Amy - posted on 10/27/2011

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Juleah thanks for the response I try to limit the processed food that he gets, when I'm home he always gets healthy well balanced meals. Unfortunately sometimes my husband and mother in law take the easy way out when it comes to meal time and there isn't much I can do about it while I'm at work.

He's always kind of been this way it just seems to be getting worse as he gets older. He's a very verbal child but when he gets moody it's the complete opposite. I don't know if he's having trouble at school. Last week I had to email his teacher because he was having anxiety over a field trip. She emailed me back immediately and said she had no idea because he hadnt expressed it to her at all. He came home in such a funk today, that I took away all electronics, and he's so much better now.

As far as sleep goes he has never been a good sleeper. It takes him forever to fall asleep and always wakes in the middle of the night.

I guess I'll just keep an eye on him and start keeping a food journal since he's very thin too I'll just see if I can find a pattern.

Amy - posted on 10/27/2011

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My daughter is 19 months old and he's actually very good with her although lately now that she wants to be his shadow all the time he's starting to lose patience with her too. And most of the time he's not pitching fits he just walks around dragging his feet moaning and sighing and when I ask him what's wrong he says nothing. After about 15 minutes is when I usually take something away. It's draining because you just never know what mood he's going to be in and usually snaps out of it as quickly as it started.

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